Betty White, the beloved actress and star of The Golden Girls and Hot in Cleveland, has died, aged 99. White was due to celebrate her 100th birthday on January 17 and seemed to be looking forward to the milestone. She passed away on New Year’s Eve at her home in Brentwood, California. LAPD spokesman Mike Lopez told The Post that officers responded to a radio call on Friday morning at around 9:30 a.m. concerning “a natural death investigation.”
- White was born in Oak Park, Illinois in 1922. She started her career in the 1930s as a radio personality before venturing into film and television work. However, it was her role as Rose Nylund in the ’80s sitcom The Golden Girls that skyrocketed her to the height of fame.
- She was in good health to the very end. In a recent interview with PEOPLE, White said turning 100 was a welcome milestone. “I’m so lucky to be in such good health and feel so good at this age,” she said. “It’s amazing.” Part of her good health was down to her positive attitude since she was “born a cockeyed optimist” and always managed to see the silver lining in every cloud.
- Even her agent was shocked to hear the tragic news. White’s agent and close friend Jeff Witjas confirmed White’s passing and added that he too believed she would not only reach 100 but well beyond. “Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever,” he said in a statement. “I will miss her terribly and so will the animal world that she loved so much. I don’t think Betty ever feared passing because she always wanted to be with her most beloved husband, Allen Ludden. She believed she would be with him again.”
- White had the longest TV career of any entertainer. Her debut came in 1939 when the medium was still pretty new. She’s continued to appear on screen well into her 90s, leaving an indelible mark on the industry that will not soon be forgotten.